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The Council is committed to tackling climate change and to making a major contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions for the city. Coventry was one of the first cities to produce a Climate Change Strategy. The Climate Change strategy published in 2012 set a target to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 27.5% by the year 2020. Coventry achieved this in 2014 (6 years early). The current Climate Change Strategy for the City ends in 2020 and is now under review and needs to reflect current UK and global policy and the urgency of the climate crisis that we face if no action is taken. To strengthen the global response to climate change, 185 parties have ratified the 2016 Paris Agreement which aspires to keep global warming between 1.5oC and 2oC and prevent the widespread effects of climate change.
The 2008 Climate Change Act requires the UK to reduce its emissions by 80% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. However, the most recent Committee for Climate Change report indicates that the UK needs to be more ambitious and set net-zero carbon targets by 2050 or sooner and strong policies to make cities greener will need to be put into action. By setting a carbon target for Coventry, the new Climate Change Strategy will highlight the commitment we have to reducing our emissions and driving the shift toward a low carbon economy whilst continuing to meet the housing, transport and other needs of the city. Becoming a low carbon city will have wide ranging benefits such as job creation, industrial competitiveness and increased economic opportunities, energy security, improved public health, reducing inequality, social inclusion, ecosystem resilience, more green space, healthier lifestyles and improved accessibility.
The challenge of reducing the city's carbon emissions is significant and it will need the help of everyone in Coventry to achieve our goals.
47% of all UK CO2 emissions are linked to the construction and operation of buildings – both housing and commercial. Energy efficient buildings produce less CO2 emissions, are warmer, and are cheaper to run but without the necessary policies in places, they won’t be built, and we risk having to pay to retrofit today’s new homes with additional energy and carbon saving measures in ten, twenty or thirty years’ time.
With the adoption of the new Local Plan in December 2017, a new Energy Supplementary Planning Document is being proposed which will aim to deliver homes and commercial properties that are fit for the future and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions.